The Leadership Code – Post Courier

The Leadership Code is a code of conduct for managers or persons exercising public office which is legally binding on such managers and which they are expected to know and respect. This is a quasi-administrative or disciplinary process, and the provisions of the Leadership Code place strict requirements on those seeking public office.

The PNG Ombudsman Commission (OCPNG) is mandated under the PNG National Constitution to implement and enforce the Leadership Code.

The Leadership Code includes the provisions of the National Constitution of PNG (i.e. Section III.2 – Sections 26-31) and the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leadership (OLDRL). It requires a high level of personal conduct and the integrity of leaders. The Leadership Code also applies to spouses and children under the age of voting (18 years).

The PNG National Constitution (Article 26) specifies persons who hold various high-level public offices and who are subject to the Leadership Code.
They understand:
> Members of Parliament (including the Prime Minister and his ministers);
>: members of provincial assemblies and local governments;
> All holders of constitutional offices (i.e. offices created under the national Constitution – for example: judges, public prosecutor, attorney general, chief magistrate, clerk of Parliament, the ombudsman, the electoral commissioner, etc.);
> Heads of government departments in the civil service;
> Heads of statutory authorities and other government bodies and agencies;
> Provincial administrators;
> Police Commissioner;
> Commander of the Defense Forces;
> High Commissioners and Ambassadors of PNG;
> Public curator;
> Ministerial staff and staff of the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Opposition
> the executives of the Governor General of registered political parties; and
> Members of the Bougainville Autonomous Government in the House of Representatives.
The PNG National Constitution (Article 26 (4)) also mandates the Ombudsman Commission to determine in cases of doubt whether a person is subject to the Leadership Code and its decision is final.

General responsibilities of the office defined by the Constitution (s27)

Leaders should never place themselves in a position where they might have a conflict of interest or where they might be compromised in any way.
> Leaders should never belittle their function or position.
> Managers must never allow their integrity to be called into question.
> The integrity and respect of the PNG government must be upheld at all times and no act of a leader should diminish or undermine this respect for the government.
> Managers should never use their position for personal gain. They should never engage in any dealings or activities that could be interpreted by the people of PNG to be for their benefit. They should never be open to suspicion.
> The standards of conduct for managers also apply to their spouses, children and partners.

What is a leadership code

This is a code of ethics that our leaders are expected to know and follow. It was instituted by the Constitution under section III.2.
The Ombudsman Commission has been empowered by the Constitution and the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibilities of Leaders to oversee and enforce the Leaders Code.
Who are our leaders according to the constitutional definition (s26)?
> All MPs (including PM, Leader of the Opposition and Ministers)
> All members of provincial assemblies and LLGs (including members of JPP & BPC and JDP & BPC)
> All constitutional office holders (s221)
> All heads (Secretaries) of national civil service departments
> All officials of statutory authorities and other government bodies and agencies
> Provincial administrators
> Police Commissioner
> PNGDF Commander
> CS Commissioner
> All PNG Ambassadors and High Commissioners
> Public police
> Ministerial staff and staff of the Leader and Deputy Leader of the Opposition
> Staff of the Governor General
> Leaders of registered political parties
> ABG members of the House of Representatives

Leadership Tribunal

A leadership tribunal consists of a judge from the National Court and two senior magistrates. They determine whether or not an officer is guilty of misconduct in the performance of his duties. The rules of evidence were recently amended to prove beyond a reasonable doubt after some legislative changes to the Organic Law on the Duties and Responsibility of Officers. Leadership Tribunal procedures are not the same as court procedures. But the current changes in the rules of evidence do not change the status of the Ombudsman Commission as a quasi-judicial body.

Leaders referred by the Ombudsman Commission from 2020-2022

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